Monday, July 10, 2006

A much-needed day off

We are still in Wilkes-Barre, PA, now parked in a large lot across the street from the hotel that serves as relief headquarters (map).

Tomorrow morning marks two full weeks since we left St. Louis, and we haven't had a break until today.  We also haven't emptied our tanks since then, so part of our day off will be spent driving to the nearby Petro truck stop to use their dump station.  Today is also laundry day -- something we haven't done since right before GA.

We are past the hump for this relief operation.  After a full day at the local chapter office, my team and I spent the entire next day -- all 17+ hours of it -- wiring up the new headquarters in a hotel ballroom, and getting the satellite terminal on-line on the roof.  The next few days involved the usual problems with logins, printers, and the like, as well as installing a handful of computers and radio base stations at remote sites.  Independence day came and went unnoticed, except for the acrid smoke of fireworks in the evening.  Now, things are stable and beginning to wind down; we're starting already to retrieve some of the remote equipment and slowly downsize headquarters.  I would expect to be here only another week or so.

Actually, my dad's birthday is the 14th, and my folks are only 170 miles, about 3.5 hours, from here.  If we can wrap up before then (very unlikely, but there is always a chance) it would be great to be there for it.  Unless there is another disaster, I expect we will head there in any case, or maybe meet them somewhere in the middle, when we are done here.

The public affairs department interviewed us aboard Odyssey for a newsletter article, and Louise got interviewed in front of the coach by a TV news crew back when we were still parked at the chapter.  So far, we haven't seen either piece.

No concrete plans for what's next, other than the visit to NJ.  We'll probably head towards NC for an FMCA rally there next month.  I will probably not get another chance to post here until the operation shuts down, unless we're here long enough for another day off (which would, theoretically, be next Monday).

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